Athlete Ally and All Out announced that American Apparel is launching a specially branded clothing line which will support the Principle 6 Campaign. Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter states that discrimination of any kind is incompatible with the Olympic movement. The campaign is a way for athletes, spectators and supporters to celebrate the Olympic principle of non-discrimination and call for an end to Russia's anti-gay laws before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
The clothing line will be available starting for purchase from American Apparel online and in stores internationally Wednesday, January 1, 2014. The majority of the proceeds from the sale of clothing will go support the Principle 6 campaign and directly to lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) advocacy groups in Russia fighting discrimination and anti-gay laws.
"If the International Olympic Committee refuses to enforce their own principles while host countries attack human rights and the dignity of athletes, the Olympic Charter is meaningless," said Andre Banks, Co-Founder and Executive Director of All Out. "Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter says that sport does not discriminate. Our campaign is a way for Olympians and millions of fans to drive that message home to the IOC."
"The Principle 6 campaign allows athletes and fans to support LGBT equality leading up to and during the Sochi Olympics without fear of arrest under Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws or penalty under the Olympic ban on political speech. This campaign is not about politics, it's about principles," said Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally.
A few of the Sochi-bound Olympians, who will serve as on-site ambassadors in Russia and will promote the Principle 6 message, include Belle Brockhoff, Blake Skjellerup and Mike Janyk. Additional Olympic athletes engaged in the campaign include Greg Louganis, Martina Navratilova, James Blake, Cameron Myler, Nick Symmonds, Mark Janoschak, Hedvig Lindahl, Megan Rapinoe, Chris Seitz, Ben Provisor, Esther Lofgren and many others.
"American Apparel has always stood up for the LGBT community. The idea of excluding anyone from the Olympic Games based on their sexual orientation is unthinkable. We are proud to join Athlete Ally and All Out to provide a way for athletes and fans to speak out against unjust discrimination," said Iris Alonzo, Creative Director of American Apparel.
"By openly supporting Principle 6 at the Winter Games in Sochi, everyone can help uphold and promote the Olympic values of non-discrimination and stand in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Russia and around the world," said Anastasia Smirnova, spokesperson for a leading coalition of Russian LGBT groups.